Continually recognized as a must-see destination by travel media and industry professionals, Pittsburgh is often referred to as a big city with a small-town feel. The city’s infamous transformation has also been globally recognized and celebrated. These days, Pittsburgh boasts a thriving culinary scene, filled with top-notch technology companies and a variety of accommodations and venues that are perfect for every sized group.
These are just a few of the reasons that leading industry events, including PCMA 2019 Convening Leaders, are choosing Pittsburgh. From unique meeting venues to an active nightlife scene and attractions for exploring pre- and post-conference activities, here’s a look at the top five reasons to host your next meeting in Pittsburgh.
Location, Location, Location
Located halfway between New York City and Chicago, Pittsburgh is within 500 miles of more than half of the U.S. population and less than a 90-minute flight from 50 percent of North America’s population. The city is less than six hours by a car or train ride from nine states, Washington, D.C. and Canada, making it easily accessible for business travelers.
For those interested in flying, the award-winning Pittsburgh International Airport serves more than 8 million passengers annually, with nonstop destinations continually on the rise. Traveling to Pittsburgh has never been easier for conference attendees.
Technology Is Key
Pittsburgh is home to a vibrant, growing tech industry with Facebook, Google, Uber and many more heavy hitters having offices in the city.
With venues and accommodations throughout the city providing the latest in technology and internet services, the venues are prepared and ready to assist planners with their expertise in providing great service for planners’ upcoming event.
Explore Places to Meet
Built with sustainability and business in mind, the Platinum and Gold LEED®-certified David L. Lawrence Convention Center features 313,000 square feet of exhibit space, 53 meeting rooms and a 31,000-sq.-ft. ballroom—all in an environmentally-friendly setting.
This 1.5 million-sq.-ft. building is equipped with the cutting-edge technology and has hosted over 5.1 million visitors since 2003. Overlooking the Allegheny River, this structure is elegant in form, exceptional in function and boasts beautiful views.
From the home of the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC Park and the Roberto Clemente Museum to elegant Heinz Hall—home of the Pittsburgh Symphony—there are scores of one-of-a-kind, off-site venues for planning the perfect event.
The popular Andy Warhol Museum, located on Pittsburgh’s North Shore, is home to the largest collection of Warhol art and archives in the world. With intriguing venue space, the museum can accommodate informal dinners, black-tie ceremonies and elegant cocktail receptions. The museum has a full-time event services staff, and the rentals include event furniture, audiovisual equipment and staffing. The museum also has an exclusive catering company that’s ready to create the perfect menu.
For those in need of meeting space and accommodations under the same roof, Pittsburgh is home to Omni, Marriott and Westin properties. Smaller groups can enjoy the area’s newest boutique property, Distrikt Hotel Pittsburgh, a former Salvation Army headquarters transformed into a contemporary designed space as a tribute to Pittsburgh and its neighborhoods.
Eat and Drink Well in Pittsburgh
Because some of the most important business decisions take place over a great meal, don’t miss exploring Pittsburgh’s exploding culinary scene. From longtime family-owned favorites to innovate restaurants featuring unique dishes, you’ll quickly see why Zagat named Pittsburgh the "No. 1 Food City in the U.S.”
From James Beard award-nominated hot spots like Morcilla and Cure to legendary Pittsburgh eats like Primanti Bros., the city is a melting pot of ethnic diversity—with restaurants serving different cuisines from around the world.
Craft breweries are gaining popularity in Pittsburgh as well, offering another unique experience for attendees. Enjoy tastings at Penn Brewery, Pittsburgh oldest brewery that has won twenty medals from the Great American Beer Festival® and World Beer Cup®. Or, explore the newest breweries and brews making a splash in Pennsylvania. For a bit of history, don’t miss The Church Brew Works—the first and only brew pub in the country to be located in a historic church. The brewery was named the “Best Large Brewpub in America” at the prestigious Great American Beer Festival.
The family-owned Narcisi Winery features high-quality wines produced from locally grown grapes and inspired by the family’s Italian heritage. The popular Pittsburgh Winery combines art, music and wine in an intimate, boutique setting with live music.
For the ultimate day out of the office, planners can gather their groups and explore Pittsburgh’s thriving beer scene with City Brew Tours.
Fun in the City
Once business is done for the day, get ready to explore Pittsburgh’s world-class attractions.
The Cultural District boasts nine theaters and eclectic art galleries, shops, restaurants and more – all within a 14-block radius. The Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra, The Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre and many more performing arts are all conveniently located steps away from the downtown hotels.
Planners can bring the whole family along and enjoy the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh, voted one of the nation’s “10 Best Museums for Families” by USA Today’s 10Best. With 80,000 square feet of interactive fun including rotating and permanent exhibits year-round, the museum is conveniently located just across the bridge from downtown in Pittsburgh’s North Shore neighborhood.
Families also won’t want to miss the National Aviary, home to more than 500 birds representing more than 150 species from around the world. As America’s only independent indoor, nonprofit zoo dedicated exclusively to birds, the venue features free-flight shows, hands-on exhibits and large habitats, allowing visitors close interaction with the birds. Save time for Penguin Point and see the playful birds on display.
These attractions also are perfect for off-site events and a great way for attendees to enjoy the city once the day’s meetings are complete.
Pittsburgh welcomes the opportunity to show planners how the city is perfect for their next event. Craig Davis, president and CEO of VisitPITTSBURGH says, “Pittsburgh is a great place to do business and is everything a great destination for meetings and trade shows needs to be. It’s accessible, being a less than 90-minute flight from 50 percent of the country. Our convention center is located downtown just steps away from world-class attractions, and the city boasts a culinary scene that is internationally known—being named a top city for food. Pittsburgh has everything needed to create an experience attendees won’t soon forget.”
Contact the VisitPITTSBURGH Convention Sales Team or submit an RFP and let them help you plan a successful event in a unique setting filled with inspiration—inside and outside of the boardroom.